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If you and I sat down for coffee, we would probably have two different definitions of discipleship. We could point to a variety of verses that lay out complementary visions of what discipleship looks like practically and philosophically. But we could agree on these two things:
- Discipleship requires the ability to be present. Put another way, discipleship is local.
- Discipleship is missional. (Now, whether you think discipleship starts before or after conversion, we can all agree that disciples grow into missionaries, or as Paul put it, “ambassadors for Christ” [2 Cor 5:18–21].)
We were in the middle of a care group gathering at church. People would share some of their deepest struggles, and then, inevitably, a leader in training would derail the conversation with unhelpful questions.
It’s not uncommon. We often tap people for leadership who show deep spiritual growth before we’ve noticed they need to grow in how to care for others. For many people, it’s not that they don’t have the potential to be strong leaders in your church—it’s that they aren’t ready yet. They need vetting and training. [Read more…]